Album Review | Torito – Meat Circus

This album was released on July 3rd this year. Torito is an artist who I’ve become familiar with just this past year. I mainly know of him through his work with other artists affiliated with Cold Rhymes Records and U Don’t Deserve This Beautiful Art—namely ialive & Darko the Super. Every feature I’d heard from him was really good, and the one single I ended up listening to from this album blew me away, so this is actually one of my most anticipated releases of the year. I think I’m gonna love this thing, and it’s only 8 tracks long, so there’s not a lot of room for any fuck ups. The entire thing is self-produced.

1. Carneyvore co-produced by Johann Sebastian

I really like the kind of dark, yet fast paced and slightly melodic production here. For some reason it reminded me of Sly Cooper, and I have no idea why. The monotone, wordy lyricism from Torito had me hooked right away.
Talismans hang from the clothesline
Alongside canary yellow suits for coal mines
Certain lines are kinda hard for me to understand, but I’m sure I’ll get everything eventually after hundreds of listens. The hook on this track is pretty cool. Overall, the song’s got a very straightforward structure, and the monotone vocal performance may come off kinda dry to certain listeners, but I think that’s just part of Torito’s charm. This song is dope to me.

2. Barnum’s Animal

I actually like the production on this track more than that of the preceding song. This was a relatively weak song to me on my first listen of the album, but I liked it a lot more after repeat listens. I’m not exactly sure why Torito’s entire aesthetic seems to be centered around bovines, but I’m sure there’s some significance to him, or maybe he just thinks they’re cool. I really like the first verse on this song.
Touched my table with moldy chow
And tried to show me how to cook
Hmm, look here, chode face
You can’t fathom how my poached eggs and toast taste
The culinary lyricism is much appreciated. I think this track has quite possibly the best hook on the whole album to be honest. The way he harmonized his layered vocals sounds really fucking cool. The second verse is even doper than the first one in my opinion.
Foolish clowns in a feud, they could lead to a slaughter
You can drown in a few centimeters of water
Did a thousand interviews that didn’t lead to an offer
So I feed from you coffins and peed in your coffers
Sneezing and coughing, snot spraying
A hard cot that’s got your name, my brother, I’m not playing
You can rot brain, just spot trains
Cold storms and hot rains, quatrains clot veins
Again, this was kind of a low-point on the album for me on my very first listen, but now it’s a contender for my favorite track on the album. I think this shit is dope af.

3. So Below featuring Alaska co-produced by Steel Tipped Dove

I don’t know if it’s just because the style of production is different, but it seemed like the lyrics were far easier to discern on this song and every track that follows. Torito fucking slaughtered the first verse.
Bomboclaats in the red
I’m under docks, fit to dredge
Rum on rocks with the wedge
Hummin’ Bach
Summer’s lost in my head
Gums are flossed, slumber soft in my bed
I think the production is pretty dope, although I wouldn’t say it’s one of my favorite beats on the album. The hook is pretty cool, and Alaska predictably murdered the second verse.
Yo, I’m more Mephistopheles than Socrates
Or maybe Metalocalypse meets the Aqua Teen
Life is awkward, no off switch and thought police
If not I’m on it, first I need coffee ‘fore you talk to me
When everything’s performative then everything is fraudulent
Every president sucks, not just the forty fifth
As well as forty sixth, forty seventh, forty eight
Don’t trust institutions, goin’ through my Rick & Morty phase
Pretty much every single line in his verse is a quotable bar. This is yet another major highlight on the album for me. Again, it doesn’t have my favorite beat, but the rapping is just way too good for me to not love this shit. I think the song is dope af.

4. Fibonacci Sequins co-produced by Steel Tipped Dove & Johann Sebastian

Much like Barnum’s Animal, the production on this song was underwhelming to me on my first listen, but when I came back to it I really liked it. It is very straightforward, but I fuck with it. Torito’s rhyming on this track is super impressive. He killed this shit.
Shoddy reasons for the season
My tank leaks liters as I’m leaving Elysium
Even league leaders need leisure in the evenings
Seething is believing, breathing is believing
The season is for steaming weed with the shisha
Allegiance is lesion, all the legions get the cleaver

The hook isn’t particularly memorable, and the repetitive beat admittedly does get kinda old by the time the song is over. Torito’s rhymes are just way too impressive for me to not fuck with this track though. This shit is dope to me.

5. Crying Moon featuring Miggs Son Daddy & Zilla Rocca co-produced by Johann Sebastian

This is the lead single from Torito’s upcoming album, Meat Circus, which is scheduled for release on July 3rd. Anyway, this shit is fire. The first verse is handled by Miggs Son Daddy, and he killed it. His name looked very familiar to me at first, and I was trying to think of where I’d seen it before. Then I remembered that he’s in a duo with Dope KNife called Happy Thoughts. I’m definitely gonna have to look into more of his work because he really impressed me here.
Is it a myth or a load of shit, I can’t tell
Either way the story made the flame in the lamp swell
Canteen filled with kerosene & gunpowder buried behind the Benz shell
Welcome to Camp Hell
I found a crystal in a lake where the clams dwell
And I was awarded with a “fine job!” and “damn swell!”
You can follow me on instagram, well
Even if you can’t spell you can just follow the plant smell

The hook from Torito is pretty nice, and the second verse from Zilla Rocca was dope too.

Don’t cry, dry your eyes
We all look up to some violent guys
I see the Punisher skull on blue lives
“Nonviolent” force? That shit is true lies

Torito actually had my favorite verse though. This dude is actually a fucking beast. I really liked his performance on ialive‘s latest record, and he was great on Darko the Super‘s recent album with Steel Tipped Dove, but he still ended up surpassing my expectations here.

Plastic covered couches, countertops are laminate
No matter how you lather it you can’t clench the contaminates
Survey where the salmon swim, Sherlock with the saddle bit
My alpha numerology submerges all your battleships
Count me as the catalyst diverging all your cattle chips
Neighbors hear the snake rattle in the gravel pit
You blame your pawn game on your paddle grip
Doesn’t sound the same to everybody when the gavel hits

He fucking bodied this shit. I was already enjoying the song a lot, but his verse really pushed this shit to the next level. The production here is really nice too. I love this track. I think it’s dope as hell, and definitely one of my favorites of the week. Do not sleep on this one. I’m gonna be all over that Meat Circus album. I can’t wait to hear more.

6. Bovines & Beans co-produced by Johann Sebastian

This track definitely has one of my favorite beats on the album. It’s more downtempo than the preceding instrumental, and relatively melodic. This is the shortest track on the album, but I still really love it. Torito of course murdered this shit.
Scrollin’ through for a song to cry to
Parched eyes still turn dark skies sky blue
Large fries, naked on a raw hide rug
Watchin’ cooking shows, fuck the CDC, scarfing cookie dough

As much as I like the production and rapping, the song’s straightforward structure does make it feel a little scant. It’s just one verse with no hook or anything. I definitely fuck with the song, but I think there could’ve been more added to spice things up a bit. This is still a very good song though.

7. Fat Controller featuring The Hell Hole Store co-produced by Johann Sebastian

I’d heard of The Hell Hole Store a few times in the past, but I didn’t realize until I listened to this album that it’s just the name that ialive & Darko the Super perform as a duo under. Anyway, this might actually be my favorite song on the album. I love the production here, and every single verse here is fire. The tone of the production just makes the collaboration between these artists feel even more exciting. They all sound perfect over this beat. ialive killed that first verse.
We’re all cuttin’ loose though
My NARCAN rhymes wake you up when it’s too dope
Beware of the beast
He don’t got limbs, but his stock price still creaks
Corporate interest doesn’t interest me
I find it greedy, and wholly disinteresting
What happened to the middle class?
It seems defeating and even too redundant to ask
The way Darko comes in right behind him is awesome.
Money makes the world go down the drain
Tighten the noose around my brain
I’m suicidal, but I’m not insane
They say I’m a communist, a democratic socialist
I run the label, make the beats, and I’m the vocalist
I already loved these first two verses from The Hell Hole Store, but Torito came through in the end and absolutely slaughtered it.
Chop the stash, rockin’ Abraham Lincoln
With the faded tan, thinkin’ with the plate of clams, drinkin’
I knew the ships sinkin’, but I hear a playing band
And these selfies slay the ‘gram, know my data plan’s shrinkin’
Shady man’s winking, caucasian corn rows
No morsels, but the job pays in hormones
Mortals, show gratitude, God made the warzones
Kool-Aid on taps, all day the horn blows
I love the way this dude writes his rhymes. This is just super fun to listen to.
Wall to wall while the wall-eyes pass the carp again
You’re looking sharp in your All Lives Matter cardigan
My unions sew fashion out of marmot skin
Undue the flap and start shittin’ on the charlatans
Every person involved in this track did a fantastic job, especially Torito. This shit is dope af.

8. Hobby Horse co-produced by Steel Tipped Dove

My relationship with the production on this album is really inconsistent. My opinion of this beat in particular is constantly fluctuating. On my first listen, this was one of my favorite instrumentals, but after a while it just got old to me. I do still think it’s pretty good though. I really like how relatively uptempo it is. There are two verses on this song, and they’re both very good.
Span the ocean, decant the potion
My anthem’s notion is who gives a fuck
That the eyes have emotion if the hands are soulless?
The eyes have the motion to remand the homeless
The hook on this one isn’t the most memorable, but I think it serves its purpose very well. I think this is a really dope song.

This album is really great. I think Torito is a top tier lyricist to be honest. He’s incredibly skilled at putting rhymes together, and I think it’d be fair to use the “wordsmith” label on him. He doesn’t say things the same way most rappers say things. I think listeners with low attention spans who aren’t able to look past his monotone delivery will probably call it a boring listen, but people like me who really value lyricism first and foremost will love it. As a full project, it kinda feels more like a collection of songs rather than a cohesive album. When trying to figure out why, I thought that maybe it had something to do with the lyricism not being particularly personal or introspective, but I don’t think listeners should be entitled to an artist’s personal drama or life story. I guess it might just be because of the length. Maybe the production too. I don’t know. It’s not that big of a deal obviously since I love the album. There’s not a single track here that I don’t like. All the features are great, and there’s not a single wack verse here. This shit is dope. Don’t sleep on it.


SCORE: 88 (A-)